It is vital to tackle the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis together.
That’s the suggestion from Melanie Coath, Senior Climate Change Policy Officer at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), who spoke to future Net Zero at the organisation’s ‘Countdown to COP’ event in London earlier this month.
She warned the UK was not going to hit the target of limiting warming to 1.5°C without adequately protecting the ecosystems that lock in carbon and stressed natural resources play “a critical role” in addressing the climate emergency, as well as offer a “very good return on investment” in terms of flood and soil protection and cleaning up air quality.
She added the decision to make nature a key theme at COP26 has resulted in its importance increasingly “coming up the agenda” and being understood but still noted “businesses could be looking at this a lot more”.
Ms Coath emphasised major infrastructure projects such as HS2 “mustn’t exacerbate the biodiversity crisis” and said even renewable energy projects can damage the natural world and reduce its ability to help drive decarbonisation.